Photo: Jacques Boissinot The canadian Press
Workers at the Bécancour aluminum Smelter, locked out since January 11, 2018, protested in front of the parliament, in Quebec city, on the 7th of February last.
The direction of the Bécancour Smelter (ABI) has introduced a global offer and the final at the united Steelworkers union, after nearly 14 months of lockout. The 1030 unionized ABI have been put into lockout on January 11, 2018, at 3 am in the morning, in the aftermath of their rejection of the offers by their employers.
The management of ABI, has confirmed on Monday morning that it had submitted a written offer “to put an end to the labor dispute” at the local 9700 of the united Steelworkers, which is affiliated to the FTQ. And the union has indicated to his side that he was busy currently to analyze it. It is expected to decide shortly if he presents it to its members. The union declined to comment for the time being.
However, in a press release, the management of ABI, says more and evokes an average wage increase of 2.55 % per year. “The annual salary increases correspond to an average minimum of 2.55 % over the course of the proposed collective agreement, for a period of six years, ensuring salaries ranging among the best in the aluminum industry in Quebec,” she wrote in a press release. “The proposal includes wage increases in excess of inflation projected for the years to come,” she adds.
The department ensures that its offer would allow all workers currently locked out of returning to work. The offer employer ‘ includes a reorganization of work which does not provide for any layoff and that respects seniority. Also, at the start of the labour dispute, the observance of the criterion of seniority in the movement of labor was one of the main points in dispute.
The management stated that in contrast, its offer “provides flexibility, to capture the attrition of a wave of pensions in the course and improve productivity” — that which was from the beginning one of the goals sought by management. The management hoped that its offer is actually submitted to a vote of members before the march 18.
For his part, the minister of Labour, Jean Boulet, who had announced that he would soon present a hypothesis of settlement to the two parties, has made it known that it was suspending this process. “Since the beginning of the conflict, the two parties have always expressed their intention to have a negotiated agreement. Thus, considering the offer filed this morning by ABI, the filing of the hypothesis that regulation has no currently its relevance “, he commented by way of press release. He said he is however always willing to offer his services ” as a facilitator to resolve a conflict that has already lasted over a year, and that creates many negative impacts across the province of Quebec “.
Alone, Hydro-Québec has estimated its shortfall at $ 165 million, since the beginning of the lockout, because that ABI has not bought the entire block of electricity that it had reserved under its contract rates. And this is without considering the impact on the regional economy.